“Sometimes it’s OK to cry.”
That headline on the Jalopnik website reflected the pain felt by gearheads who loved the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and now must say goodbye.
“The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is the best new sports car that I’ve ever driven when evaluated on a per-dollar basis,” wrote David Tracy, senior technical editor at Jalopnik. “It’s an absolute powerhouse of sensory stimulation that makes the world a better place with each degree that rev needle climbs. Sadly, this magnificent beast is getting the ax this fall. ... The GT350 is a masterpiece.”
But, as the saying goes, all good things come to an end.
Ford said last week that “with the 760 horsepower Shelby GT500 now in full stride, we will finish production of the Shelby GT350 and GT350R this fall as planned. This makes way for our new additions to excite our passionate Mustang fans for 2021 model year — including our limited-edition Mach 1.”
The company didn’t issue a news release. It just responded to questions as the news spread in automotive circles that dealer allocations had ended Sept. 30. People who loved the car quietly mourned. A limited run for these vehicles is not unusual, but the end is always sad.
The Mustang Shelby GT350 created an immediate sensation when it was released for the 2015 model year. Ford won raves for developing an exotic flat-crank V-8 engine for it.
A base model price for the 2020 model year starts at $60,440. Every Shelby GT350 features the powerful V-8 voodoo engine with 526 horsepower and six-speed manual transmission that will live on in the limited edition 2021 Mustang Mach 1.
There’s still a chance to snag one, but with dealer allocation halted, interested buyers should reach out to their local dealers ASAP.
“It had a good run,” said Jonathan Klinger, vice president of car culture for Hagerty, the world’s largest insurer of collector vehicles.
“Ford surprised the world with this GT350,” he said. “An engine like that is typically in much more expensive exotic cars, like Ferrari. Ford surprised everyone with that engine, and it proved Ford was serious about making the new Mustang a serious track car. Now they’ll do a new iteration. Will it be back? We’ll see.”
Brad Carroll, director of Ford Credit global communications, tweeted, “I’ll always remember the birth of my children ... and driving to lunch ... in one of these things. We cracked the windows a bit and ... hit the throttle. That sound ... it was just ... perfect.”
In confirming the news about the Shelby GT350, Ford highlighted past success and touted the limited-edition Mach 1.
Since sixth-generation Mustang global exports began in 2015, through December 2019, Ford has sold 633,000 Mustangs in 146 countries — including 102,090 in 2019. The upcoming limited-edition 2021 Mustang Mach 1 comes standard with the GT350’s Tremec 3160 six-speed manual transmission
“We’re proud of our growing Mustang stable and performance variants,” Jim Farley, then-chief operating officer at Ford, said in an April news release. “From Sweden to Shanghai, more and more driving enthusiasts are enjoying the feeling of freedom and the American open road in these new Mustangs.”